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Choreographer, pianist and Broadway performer Richard L. "Ric" Silver created the dance in 1976 from a demo of the Bunny Wailer recording. There are several variations of the dance. The original choreography has 22 steps, but variants include the Freeze (16 step), Cowboy Motion (24 step), Cowboy Boogie (24 step), and the Electric Slide 2 (18 step). The 18-step variation became popular in 1989 and for ten years was listed by Linedancer Magazine as the number-one dance in the world.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit on behalf of videographer Kyle Machulis against Silver, asking the court to protect Machulis's free speech rights in recording a few steps of the dance in a documentary video posted to the Internet.
On May 22, 2007, the EFF came to an agreement to settle the lawsuit: the settlement states that Silver will license the Electric Slide under a Creative Commons noncommercial license and to also post the new license on any of his current or future websites that mention the Electric Slide.
- Silver, Ric. "This is 'The Electric' - The Complete Choreography". The-electricslidedance.com. Retrieved 2016-11-30.
- "'Electric Slide' Creator Steps on Fair Use | Electronic Frontier Foundation". Eff.org. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
- "Electric Slide' Creator Calls Off Online Take-down Campaign". EFF. 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2018-12-07.